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The Ethnographic StateFrance and the Invention of Moroccan Islam$
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Edmund III Burke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273818

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273818.001.0001

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Tensions of Empire, 1900–1912

Tensions of Empire, 1900–1912

(p.83) Five Tensions of Empire, 1900–1912
The Ethnographic State

Edmund Burke

University of California Press

This chapter explores the institutional contexts in which French research took place and provides a preliminary evaluation of its accomplishments. Two main contexts are surveyed. The first is that of institutionalization. The establishment in 1902 of the Mission scientifique du Maroc initiated a program of government-sponsored research on Morocco, mostly published in its house organ, Archives marocaines. French ethnographic authority thereafter established its preeminence. A second vector for research on Morocco was the Comité de l’Afrique française, which sponsored more than fifty study missions in the period and published the results in its Bulletin. Within less than a generation, French scholars compiled a remarkably complete inventory of Moroccan social groups, cities, tribal groups, and Sufi orders. By 1912 the main outlines of the colonial archive on Morocco were already visible. However, the politicization of the field following the 1906 Act of Algeciras also shaped the field. French intervention provoked sustained Moroccan resistance that upset the diplomatic game, stoked French paranoia, and undermined the viability of research missions into the Moroccan interior.

Keywords:   Comité de l’Afrique française, Georges Salmon, Edouard Michaux-Bellaire, Edmond Doutté, René de Segonzac, General Hubert Lyautey

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